Smart Toolkit Training and Consultations on ICM Policy Strategy Development in Mauritius
The Food and Agricultural Research Council (FARC), as a focal point of the CTA in Mauritius, has been chairing a working group on the development of a National Agricultural Information, Communication and Knowledge Management Strategy (AICKM) document, which was initiated in July 2010 through the Implementation & Coordination of Agricultural Research & Training (ICART) project of the SADC Secretariat. Such programmes have also been initiated in several other countries in the SADC region, and a regional strategy document is expected to emerge from these initiatives. The ICART project and the CTA have discussed the possibility of collaborating further on this topic and Mauritius would be an excellent candidate to test out the potential for combining these initiatives.
Furthermore, following exposure to the Smart Toolkit (a software for evaluation of information projects, products and services) [See background info on the Smart Toolkit] during a regional SADC workshop held in Pretoria from 30 August to 03 September 2010 on “Agricultural Information, Communication and Knowledge Management Strategy Development and Meeting of SADC network of ARD Information Managers”, the need is felt to have a further training session on the use of the SMART Toolkit, such that its implementation in institutions in Mauritius can complement the AICKM process.
A request has thus been made by FARC to CTA to host a capacity building workshop on the SMART Toolkit in Mauritius, combined with consultations with the SADC region, on the issues of Information and Communication Management. In this context, a project proposal has been sent to CTA. The Project is aimed at improving collaboration strategies with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) agricultural organisations, and the support to African ACP countries.
CTA conducted in 2008 a series of Needs Assessment Studies for 12 countries in East Africa. Moreover, the ICART project of the SADC-FANR promoted the development of strategies for Agricultural Information, Communication and Knowledge Management (AICKM) at national and regional levels. A training in Smart Toolkit will thus be timely in the region for the monitoring and evaluation of information projects, products and services. It will also allow a linkage between the two projects, i.e. the AICKM and the above-mentioned CTA project, for the future benefit of the region.
The SIROI ( Systeme d' information pour la recherche agricole des pays de l' Ocean Indien / Information system for agricultural research of the indian ocean countries ) is a joint project by CTA of Netherlands / CIRAD of France and Indian Ocean Countries namely Comoros, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. It aims to facilitate the exchange and diffusion of agricultural information from and within the Indian Ocean region. A prototype of the system is available for preview.
The Question-and-Answer-Service (QAS) is a pilot project initiated by CTA in collaboration with the research institutions of the Indian Ocean Countries. This service invites any requests for information from the Indian Ocean region and should be related to agriculture. Institutions from the region depending on their competencies would reply according to the nature of the questions.
The Distribution d' Ouvrages de References en Agriculture ( DORA ) is a project supported by CTA to reinforce capabilities of documentation centre to cater for needs of their users. The FARC has been chosen by CTA as a beneficiary of the DORA 2000 project in Mauritius, with the BDPA as executing agent on their behalf. A list of publications acquired through the project will be made available for consultation to anyone interested.
CDROM / ERL Project
A number of CDROM databases are available at the FARC through the CTA CDROM project, which the FARC has benefited and made available to users from the country since 1992. The possibility for searches has now been extended to silver platter on-line databses, mostly related to agriculture.
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